Appreciation: The Saving Grace in Relationships

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

Many of the people I work with come to me because they are codependent. Codependent means those who are addicted to relationships, putting the relationship ahead of their own needs and feelings. In codependent relationships we often give too much, looking for validation, acceptance and appreciation. Unfortunately, one person in this type of relationship does the giving and the other, takes us for granted. 

When we are in relationships where we are taken for granted, our self esteem takes a hit. We are being told by our partner’s actions and words that we are not good enough, not accepted and certainly not valued. A lack of appreciation comes from arrogance, a closed heart and a lack of generosity. It has been my experience that you can sense this behavior early and steer clear of those who will mistreat you in marriage.

I was told by my husband, “I will never tell you that you are beautiful, because I don’t want it to go to your head.” He never did. Now he’s dead! See where a lack of appreciation can get you? All kidding aside, when someone does not value us, puts us down and does not appreciate what we do for them, what is the point in being with them? They are showing a lack of love, acceptance and caring. Who wants to be in a relationship where we are not cared for and loved?

When we stay in a relationship like this, our self esteem is reduced. Over time, we may close our heart and build resentment towards the other person. We may feel like the child who never wins his mother’s approval and is constantly showing her his drawings, his school work and other things, tugging at her pant-leg for attention, that never comes. 

I have experienced this type of marriage myself. I was told, “I never asked you to do these things for me!” Anytime I mentioned his lack of appreciation, it was met with rage and contempt. It was shortly after a discussion about appreciation that I recognized he was having an affair and was gay. I gave him 30 days to decide if he was in the marriage or out. He never made his decision, so I made it for him. His lack of appreciation never changed, no matter how many times I brought it up.

Some people are just wounded so badly from childhood that they can never get beyond their pain. Many just don’t want to walk through it. We can’t fix another. We are the only ones that can change.

For those who do not appreciate what and who they have here are some ways to show appreciation. Doing so can save a relationship. Not appreciating your partner will end intimacy, and leave your relationship irretrievably broken.

Begging And Pleading

Having been there myself, begging, pleading and talking about not being appreciation does not change a thing. If you have come to this place where there is no appreciation, you are not being respected or loved. Your relationship is essentially over, the only thing missing is the fat lady singing. Why is it always a fat lady? Sadly, if we look back to the beginning of our relationship, we could have seen it coming. We ignored huge red flags from the get-go. We settled, because the relationship “seemed okay.” We wanted to be loved. If you are in a relationship where you are not appreciated, you do not love yourself completely. If you did, you would never accept this type of treatment. This person will probably not be the kind to go for help. To them, you are the problem, not them.

Why You Don’t Do It

I interviewed hundreds of men and women for my new book, Orgasm For Life. I wanted this book to represent the majority, not just some ideas from my own life and experience. In doing so, I had conversations with men and women. One man told me he was not getting the amount of sex he wanted. I asked him if he ever told his wife of 36 years, she was beautiful. He looked at me and said stubbornly, “No!” I asked him why not? He said, if he told her she was beautiful that she would go out and screw some other man. What kind of thinking is that? I will tell you, that of a very insecure man. When people are insecure, like my ex was, they don’t want to give too much. They are afraid that we will leave them. What happens in the end is that we leave them anyway, because they mistreat us. Insecurity leads to a victim/perpetrator cycle with one person being the abuser and other other the victim.

Ways To Show Appreciation

  1. Tell him or her she/he is beautiful.
  2. Thank your significant other for the things that they do for you. Whether it is the clean, folded laundry, looking nice for you, or a home cooked meal, appreciation changes the complexion of a relationship from one without love, to one with it.
  3. Bring home flowers unexpectedly, not just on Valentine’s Day.
  4. Surprise him/her with a dinner out, so he/she doesn’t have to cook – again.
  5. Leave a note in their lunch saying how much you appreciate him/her.
  6. Tell her/him that dinner was delicious. Not commenting when someone has created a meal for you is arrogant and shows a lack of caring.
  7. When making love tell him/her how amazing they look – even after all your 4 children, and years together.
  8. Let your partner know how much you appreciate the long hours they put in to support your household. Taking hard work for granted can really lead to resentment and anger.
  9. Give a hug for no reason. Just because you care. 
  10. Look your partner in the eyes, tell them you love them with your eyes. Then tell them how much you appreciate them. When you think of what life would be without your partner, you can use this to tap into appreciating them more.

The Death Sentence For Relationships

  1. A lack of gratitude is arrogant and unloving. It is indicative of self loathing and self hatred.
  2. If you are not getting enough sex, you are probably not appreciating your partner. Try it sometime, you might begin to open your heart. 
  3. Continued lack of appreciation chips away at what love is left. 
  4. Lack of appreciation is disrespectful.
  5. Lack of appreciation shows your partner you do not value them. 
  6. Lack of appreciation shows a lack of caring and love.
  7. Lack of appreciation is passive aggressive. Most likely this person was abused in some way in childhood. This wounding is causing the issue.
  8. Continue on this path and your relationship will end.
  9. Lack of appreciation is a sign of self-centered, self absorbed behavior. Some many never change. Mine didn’t.
  10. If you are the one that cannot bring yourself to show appreciation, it is time to look inside. Why is your heart hardened so much that you cannot express love for yourself and others? It is time to ask for help. You can’t do this alone.
Continuing in a relationship where you are not appreciated will not change the behavior. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is codependent behavior. Focus on yourself. Take a self esteem building course. Listen to podcasts that can build your self esteem. 

Remember you cannot change anyone but you. 

Jennifer Elizabeth Masters is the author of two books, the latest is  Orgasm For Life.  She is a certified life, love and sex coach, hypnotherapist, Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, Master Energy Healer and catalystic coach. Her work is deep and life changing. Jennifer is a healed healer, healing her own codependency, addictions and victimhood. She is self actualized and enlightened. If you want permanent, lasting change and are committed to heal, contact Jennifer for a FREE discovery session to find out whether you are a good fit for her program. Not everyone is. Some people are just not ready.E-mail Jennifer for your FREE discovery session. Or check out her website and sign up for her weekly newsletter HERE
Jennifer has a weekly podcast on Wednesday nights at 5:00 PST and 8:00 PM EST. The call in number for the podcast is:
(605) 475-4000 PIN 939401#
The replay of the last podcast is here: Delegating To The Universe, Becoming A Power Manifestor 

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